A Doll’s House- Review Questions
A Doll’s House- Review Questions

A Doll’s House- Review Questions

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  • Pages: 5 (2143 words)
  • Published: April 4, 2019
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1. Nora and Torvald’s relationship seems almost too common nowadays. The
wife is detached from all outlets of life and liberty, and the husband
drops subtle put-downs out of habit. Torvald says he loves Nora, yet
forces her to live a life of secrecy, if she wants to live one at all.

Even Christine was treated with contempt when she entered the story as
a childhood friend of Nora’s.Christine and Krogstad, however, seemed
more intimate, and simultaneously, more independent. Christine, now
widowed, and Krogstad, raising his children alone, are forced to
reconnect after Krogstad admitted that the fire within him never died,
and that he still had feelings for Christine. Henrik Ibsen may have
placed these two relationships together in the play to justify the
actions of Nora, by comparing her relationship with Torvald with that
of Christine and Krogstad.

2. Christine is a foil to Nora, because without Christine, Nora would
have felt bitterly alone in her ordeal with the loan from Krogstad.

Christine interrupts the situation of the Helmer’s household when she
enters, rather unexpectedly. By foiling, or interfering, with Nora’s
plan to get more and more ‘allowance’ from Torvald to pay off the loan
in secret, Christine is the catalyst in the chain of events that
ultimately leads to Nora’s brash decision to leave Torvald and their
children behind in search of herself. Christine’s role in all of this,
is that if it weren’t for Christine’s urging of Nora to tell Torvald,
the issue would have been dealt wit


h between Nora and Krogstad, and no
one would ever have to have known about it. However, Christine pushed
Nora to be frank and upfront about her financial decision, and, as
earlier stated, was the catalyst to the chain reaction of the
destruction of the household.

3. Krogstad is a foil to Torvald, in that he is a threat to Torvald’s
reputation as the new bank manager, and as a man in society. Torvald
is constantly obsessed with what effects something has on what people
think of him, like when he states, “What will people think of a man who
can be manipulated by his own wife?” Torvald is a man that conforms to
the ills of society, and threatens the peace of many others. Krogstad
is a threat to Torvald, in that, Krogstad has blackmail on him and his
family, and will force Torvald to grant him back his position at the
bank. Torvald is an overly weak character, and is self-centered to the

4. The Christmas Tree- The tree is the scene is an example of Nora’s
desire to splurge, especially at Christmas. She felt that the
decoration was needed in the house, but it was really to please
herself. The tree had little significance other than to reinforce the
fact that Nora isn’t very money-savvy.

The Lamp- The lamp, which was used for light, was put in the scene to
reflect on something’s untapped potential. The lamp, which wasn’t
often used, created an opportunity to read by, or light the room, but
was rarely used at all. The lamp, wasting away unused, is a symbol of
Nora’s inner character, withering awa

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in her constricting marriage.

The Black Shawl- The black shawl is symbolic of the mask that Nora has to
hide behind, similar to her relationship with Torvald. She isn’t able
to express herself as if she has is capable of independent thinking,
and is forced to hide behind the veil of her husband. The shawl is a
symbol of the inability to be her own person, and Nora’s reliance upon
Torvald to be able to interact with others.

5. Nora is a victim of her society, in the fact that the
contemporary beliefs were that a woman had no right to be independent,
and that the man was in control of all aspects of the family. Also,
the ignorance of Torvald, as referenced when he made his comment about
never being able to forgive the woman who plants the seeds of lies in
their child’s brain, played a major role in shifting the thoughts of
Nora into such a whirlwind. Torvald was to Nora, what a batterer is to
his spouse, controlling and fearful, and the society saw it as
acceptable in that time period. Torvald and Dr. Rank both, showed
moments of passion for Nora, however, even Dr. Rank was kind enough to
request that Torvald not see him after the news of his death was
finalized, in order to protect their good memories. Nora was
incapacitated by her society, and showed good judgment, by leaving and
rediscovering herself.

6. Much of Nora’s agony was caused by necessity for funds to save the
life of the man she loved. The loan, taken not from the bank, but an
individual, was due to be paid, and Nora needed to find a way to
compensate Krogstad, or risk exposing her secret to the world. Nora
decided that it would be best if Torvald didn’t know about the loan,
and bribed Krogstad to keep quiet. Torvald later found out after
Krogstad told him in a letter that he wrote, along with a letter of
apology, and explanation. Torvald’s anger was not caused by Nora, but
rather by his inability to be gracious and show gratitude. Much of
Nora’s agony, though not all, was self-inflicted.

7. All of Ibsen’s plays deal with the wrongs of society, and how the
women are so mistreated, and eventually become stronger, as in the case
of Nora, or end their struggle, like Hedda Gabler. Ibsen wanted to
make a difference with his works, and relied heavily on his controversy
to reach out to people and get his audience. The strength of his
works, once translated into other languages out of Norwegian, was lost
slightly, but still contains a strong message, that the corruptions of
society lead to hardship and heartbreak for not just few, but through
the ‘domino effect’, many people are hurt.

8. The central metaphor of “A Doll’s House,” is Nora being the doll,
trapped forever in the confines of her own home, and her inability to
escape. Ibsen portrayed her as a strong character once, but
manipulated by Torvald, or molded into what he wants her to become.

She was treated like a doll by her father, taking on many

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